Psychology Ph.D. (Ithaca)

Field of Study


Program Description

Research facilities include: special rooms for research in problems of perception and cognition; a social-psychology laboratory equipped for experimental and observational studies; electrophysiological, histological, and chemical laboratories; surgery facilities; facilities for the maintenance and behavioral study of vertebrate and invertebrate laboratory animals; darkrooms and shops; an audiovisual studio equipped for the study of teaching; laboratory computers and interacting terminals with the capacity to control equipment in experiments and to do online processing and complex data analyses; and other specialized facilities, both on campus and at various off-campus locations.

Students develop an independent program of study in consultation with their Special Committee. The three primary members of the Special Committee must be chosen by the end of the first year; students are encouraged to select at least one member (not the chairperson) from a field other than psychology. The Director of Graduate Studies appoints a fourth member, whose function is to ensure that the student obtains adequate breadth of training.

The Special Committee oversees requirements that are established by the field. Current requirements include a first-year review and annual meetings of the Special Committee to review the student's progress; a research paper completed by the end of the first year and an oral report of the research presented to a meeting of students and faculty members; a one-year course in statistics and experimental design; at least ten hours a week of supervised teaching experience for at least two semesters; the Admission to Candidacy examination, which should be taken by the end of the third year (a Graduate School requirement); a written dissertation proposal, which must be accepted at a meeting of the Special Committee called for that purpose; and the doctoral dissertation itself with a final examination on the dissertation (Graduate School requirements).

Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-3834

211 Uris Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • behavioral and evolutionary neuroscience
  • perception, cognition and development
  • social and personality psychology


Visit the Graduate School's Tuition Rates page.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall, Dec 1

Requirements Summary:

Only applicants seeking the Ph.D. degree are accepted. Applicants must submit to transcripts of the undergraduate record, three letters of recommendation, and an academic statement of purpose. Applicants are not required to submit GRE scores or GRE subject test scores in psychology or to have had an undergraduate major in psychology. Prior research experience is highly desirable; applicants may submit research reports or work. The closing date for applications is December 1st. Persons whose primary interests lie in clinical, counseling, industrial, or school psychology should not apply.

Learning Outcomes

A candidate for a Ph.D. in Psychology is expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge across the field of Psychology, and to contribute significant, original research to our understanding of behavior within his/her sub-discipline. In so doing, the candidate shall demonstrate the ability to:

  1. critically evaluate the state of his/her field by analyzing available scientific literature
  2. synthesize current knowledge and identify novel research questions in his/her chosen field
  3. master appropriate research techniques and collect original data
  4. analyze results using appropriate technological and statistical methods
  5. place and interpret results into a scholarly context and identify their importance
  6. master communication skills including the publication of scientific papers, the presentation of scientific talks and the delivery of pedagogically sound lectures
  7. stay abreast of the current state of his/her chosen field
  8. support and disseminate knowledge through collaboration, teaching and mentoring
  9. uphold standards for scientific rigor and ethical behavior, including standards for ethical use of human or animal subjects in research.